It’s time for another digital update.
I know I’ve been a bit MIA lately… but as some of you know.. I have limited time I can sit by my PC (health reasons). So guess what! My allotted computer time has been spent roaming through my digital clutter.
I have mentioned before that I have a shit load (pardon the french) of data to sort through. There are music, videos, documents, e-mails, bookmarks, software… you name it, I’ve got it.
Three weeks ago I decided to tackle some of the mountains of e-mails I have lurking around.
You see, not only do I have a lot of e-mail hanging around in my daily used e-mail accounts. But I also have a bunch of backups. Backups going back to when I first started using e-mails in the early 1990s. Not only do I have backups of my personal e-mail accounts, but I also have a few backups from my work mail account (as I had a bit of personal stuff going into my work mail).
Believe or not – my last count wielded about 34 backups equaling 12,8 GB of data. Yeah, that read tens of thousands of e-mail (probably more like around hundred thousand e-mails)
A lot of the backup files has the same e-mails… mostly because I did a poor job at deleting old backups when I made new ones 😦
I know there are software out there, that will let me consolidate and find duplicates. But I don’t have any of this type of software on my computer, so I’m going about it the old fashion way.
I use Microsoft Outlook as my main e-mail program – and one of the finesses of that program, is that I can open old Microsoft Outlook backups (.pst files) within the program. Opening a .pst file as opposed to importing it.. means the file ads itself as a separate mail “account”. I like this because I can work on the attached file without mixing everything with my current daily e-mails.
To keep some sort of control this is how my process is:
I started out adding one file (File no 1) – cleaned the heck out of it (from 6687 down to 756).
Then I added a new file (File no 2) – cleaned that one down to what I wanted to keep. Then, since I knew some of the e-mail in file no 2, was the same as I already had in file no 1, I had to find a way to easily find the duplicates.
To find my duplicates – I do the following in the file I’m currently cleaning (e.g. File 2)
- I mark all e-mails as unread
- I mark all e-mails with a category color (red or blue or green….)
- I change font color on unread e-mails to the color red.
This is how to do that; Go to View, View settings, Conditional formatting, “choose color/font style for your unread e-mails”, Click OK, and OK again. While you are still in the same view – go to Change View, Apply current view to other mail folders, Mark the outlook file(s) you want this to apply for, Mark of “Apply view to subfolders”, and Click OK – and presto all unread email is now the color and font style of your choice 🙂
When all the e-mail left in File no 2 was marked with the color of red and with a category color, I moved the e-mails from File no 2 to File no 1.
Since a lot of my e-mails was already organized in a folder structure, I moved it to the equivalent folder in File 1. Then all I needed to do was go to the respective folders, sorted it according to date, and I could easily compare File 2 mails with File 1 mails as File 2 mails was the color of red and marked with a category color. The duplicates then was deleted.
I’m using File no 1 as my default catchall, and as I’m going through and “nulling” out mailboxes, I am moving the keepers (well at least the current keepers), to File no 1 for comparison. Since not all e-mails are duplicates, File no 1 is slowly growing in size. When I am done going through all the other backups and extra mailboxes, I will perform a final cleanup of File no 1 to get rid of the “trash”.
Now that I’ve semi explained my process – it’s time to get back to how I’ve been doing with my e-mail decluttering:
- 14.02.18 – To ease into it I started with my G-mail account (which was in desperate need of decluttering) – deleted 2421
- 17.02.18 – 20.02.18 – Outlook file no 1 – From 6687 to 756 = 5931 (this is my default move and compare file)
- 20.02.18 – 21.02.18 – Outlook file no 2 – From 6786 to 0 = 6786
- 21.02.18 – 24.02.18 – Outlook file no 3 – From 5166 to 0 = 5166
- 24.02.18 – 24.02.18 – Outlook file no 4 – From 377 to 0 = 377
- 24.02.18 – 24.02.18 – Outlook file no 5 – From 238 to 0 = 238
- 24.02.18 – 24.02.18 – Outlook file no 6 – From 1707 to 1121 = 586 (really, really old stuff – I’ll leave the rest for later)
- 25.02.18 – 25.02.18 – Outlook file no 7 – From 441 to 0 = 441
- 25.02.18 – 25.02.18 – Outlook file no 8 – From 1464 to 0 = 1464
- 25.02.18 – 27.02.18 – Outlook file no 9 – From 7568 to 0 = 7568
- 27.02.18 – 27.02.18 – Outlook file no 10 – From 550 to 0 = 550
- 27.02.18 – 27.02.18 – Outlook file no 11 – From 279 to 0 = 279
- 27.02.18 – 27.02.18 – Outlook file no 12 – From 441 to 0 = 441
- 28.02.18 – 28.02.18 – Outlook file no 13 – From 14187 to 10228 = 3959 (had a break – I’ll dive right back tomorrow)
By my calculations that should be about : 36 207 deleted e-mails – except – I have to deduct the amount of e-mails that have ended up “permanently” in File no 1.
File no 1 – new total 1603 minus old total 756 = 847 added e-mail
Which brings my total for February to – 35 360 decluttered e-mails
Adding it up with January’s and we get:
Bookmarks – 1625
E-mails – 35795
That should make the total so far this year =37 420 digital “items out-the-door” 😉
Now – wish me luck as I dive right back into e-mail hell!!!
Happy Valentines, everybody!
I was thinking it was time to give you an update about how my digital declutter is going.
It’s taken me a while to post this January status, due to my head playing up again. When my headaches gets bad, I tend to cut down on my computer time, as hanging around the computer makes it worse. Which means I pretty much haven’t been on my computer, since… yep, you’ve guessed it, since last time you heard from me.
I had all these elaborate plans for showing you pictures of before and after for each bullet below… but for the sake of getting this post out there, I’m going to take a cue from John and Barb, at Decluttering the stuff and just write it all out.
- E-mails – I’ve got a ton of emails to go through (thousands of emails) as I have a bunch of e-mail backup files (more on this later). For now however I’m just going to be digging into one of my everyday accounts, my main account. I started out with 2065, and are now at 1630. That’s 2065 minus 1630 = 435 e-mails decluttered.
- Bookmarks – Deleting bookmarks turned out to be a bit of a pain –
I started out with almost 3000 bookmarks! I chipped away at it a little every day, and after a good week I was down on the 1200 level – and then – a hiccup!
Something went wrong with a synchronization between iCloud, Google and Internet Explorer.. and suddenly I had 3332 bookmarks in my Favourites folder. Noooooo!!! Guess who had to start over 😦
Thankfully I remembered some of the major deletes, so within a short time I was down to a more manageable number to chip away at.Today I’ve got 1375 bookmarks sitting nicely in my Favourites folder. So I guess that makes 3000 minus 1375 = 1625 bookmarks decluttered (decluttered twice.. mind you 😉 )
- Bookmarks – Deleting bookmarks turned out to be a bit of a pain –
I have to admit, it’s been kinda fun cleaning up old bookmarks. It’s been fun, because the bookmarks shows where my interest and focus has been. I’ve been roaming through topics like cars, IT user equipment, minimalist wallets, DIY sheds, house stuff (for when I was building my house), travel, golf ++ just to mention a few. It’s almost like looking at old photos.. it takes you down memory line 😉
So here you have it – total decluttered =2060 digital “items”
We have all had this happen to us. We plan things and then things just don’t always go according to plan.
Most of the time we humans operate with a resemblance of a plan in our head. A plan that might or might not stretch a bit into the future. You know, stuff like; a project at work that has to be done by a date, things you need to do at at home, things that involve family or friends. Just plans or intentions in general, for what we’ll be doing the next week, two weeks, month or year.
You start out OK, you get your project underway, you have half of the week behind you and then suddenly life gets in the way of… life… and all your well intended plans goes slightly awry!
Somebody in the neighborhood pops by, asking if you could look after their dog for a couple of days, to avoid the dog being all alone. Your mum suddenly needs to be picket up at the airport. Out of the blue, your neighbor needs your help – cause their bathroom floor is overflowing with water. It snows and you need to clear all the walkways. A person in your Condominium Association wants you to take a look at the building insurance, because he thinks its to expensive – and this “small” request gives you three weeks of work getting new offers, hosting a group meeting, writing up the differences between the offers, sending out emails and currently waiting for the votes to come in on what we want to do… And the list goes on!
Yeah.. all these little extras definitely threw a wrench into my plans… the dog however, such a cutie 😉
When life knocks you off your track, there is not much you can do, but to wait until things calm down, and then start from where you left off 😉
Since I have very limited time I can sit by the PC (before my headaches gets bad), I had to put my blog and my digital projects on hold, while all the insurance stuff was going on.
Now however, I hope I can get a bit back into it!
John and Barb over at Decluttering the Stuff are already knee deep in their digital decluttering, and are running rings around me 😉 But hey, watch out, cause I will catch up 😉
See you around!
We’re at day 13 of my 21 day declutter challenge.
I’m one of those, that have had a house filled with various IT related products over the years. I am slowly reducing my PC/IT stash, and hopefully I will end up with only a few items eventually. For the time being I still have way to much, BUT as I said, I’m slowly reducing.
So, today’s declutter catch was found in my small cables “department”…
And here we are… 13 PC related items leaving the house!
2 cell phone chargers
1 video camera sound cable
5 usb cables
1 nettwork cable
2 power cable
1 printer CD/DVD caddybs
I’m being joined in this challenge by:
– Barb, at Decluttering The Stuff, joined for 14 days, and this is her last day, before leaving on a trip. Her total count? 146 🙂
– Melinda, at PurpleSlobinRecovery, check out her declutterathon, day two, three and four
– Grace, at The CFO MOM Blog, getting her groove on, decluttering a few more bags.
– Jen, at The Hidden Hoarder, have caught up and are now on day 13 like me 🙂 She is moving so fast I completely missed her day 12…
When I lived in US, I got a little carried away and bought myself a Wii.
You’d think I was 5, but what the heck.. I don’t care what age group you are, Mario Kart, is fun.. 😉 OK, so I didn’t really get it for the Mario Kart as I got the Wii Fit balance board and everything with it! Turns out though, that it was mostly used for games, not exercise – funny that 😉
Since I got home from US, the Wii haven’t seen much use, as it has mostly been tucked away in one of my drawers, and it’s time to let it go!
My neighbours kids are 7 and 9, and I have tested that my american Wii works on her Norwegian television, so this weekend the Wii will be installed in her house, rather than mine 🙂
I might miss Mario a little (I told you it was fun, right), but I sure won’t miss it filling up one of my drawer.
So here it is, all the Wii stuff – 12 items out-the-door!
- 1 Wii with power and receiver
- 1 Wheel
- 2 Nunchucks
- 2 Controls with plastic protective cover
- 1 Wii Fit Balance board
- 5 Games
We are halfway into January, and you’re wondering, do I have any plans for 2015?
Yes, off course 🙂
I have plans within the areas of decluttering, finance, exercise and life in general! Why don’t you let me tell you all about it 😉
In 2014, the focus was mostly on decluttering, and I’m afraid I still have ways to go 😦 Seems like decluttering and getting less stuff, inspires me to want less and less. So I will continue this in 2015. Last years goal was to declutter one item a day (365 items) and I far succeeded that, so I thought maybe I should try that one, one more time.. I think it will be harder this year to find the 365 items, but I’m sure gonna try 😉
I don’t know if you remember! Just like I’m reading myself out of my bookshelf, I’ve decided to watch myself out of my movie collection, and I also have this big, actually huge, photo project which I mentioned for you guys in November, that I will be spending time on this year.
My declutter goals for 2015;
- 365 items
- 100 Movies – that’s half of my collection
- Cut my physical DVD series collection by 30% (yeah, that’s a lot, I have a lot, a lot of series)
- 34 books – I did 82 or something like that, out-the-door last year, but now I’m getting into more of the books I love…
- Photo collection – oh lord… I can’t even tell you what my goal is for this year! Half maybe?
My overall goal is to keep key photos as physical photos, scan the other ones I’d like to have access to, and get rid of the rest. Now having several thousand photos, this is a task that will take time, and most likely spill over into 2016…
Only buying necessities
My focus last year on only buying necessities ( I want, I want – I want it now!!!) served me very well, as I had to spend quite a bit on medical treatments instead. It served me so well, I think I’d like to continue the focus this year. But with a small change compared to last years – I will add an allowance;
- Books – I can still buy up to 10 books/magazines – preferable as e-books
- Eating out – We did pretty good last year – we will try to squeeze even more this year, by reducing another 25% on last years results.
- Flowers and plants – stay at the same level of last years result
- New allowance: I can buy up to 10 non essentials throughout the year 🙂
Other financial goals
Last year I managed to pay off my car (a few months early) and I’m pretty happy with that 🙂 My ultimate goal on the other hand, is to have my house mortgage paid off, in 16 years or less, compared to the 25 it was originally. I’m 7 years in and have almost halved the mortgage so far, which is phenomenal! But it’s getting harder now that I’m on a severely reduced pay due to not working so much. Every January I pay a lump sum towards the mortgage, so my goal for 2015 is to save up 60 000 NOK for my lump sum in January 2016. If I manage that on my reduced pay, I’m doing very well.
Activity and exercise
Due to illness I have not been the most active person the last few years, every time I think I’m ready to start exercising, I’ve managed to screw that up somehow, and I’ve gotten worse again. Now on the other hand, I’m feeling better than ever and I think it’s time to give it another shot. But this time around I’m going to be careful about it and take my time!!!
The goal for this year is to build up to, by the end of the year: 7 days of activity a week, with 3 of these as real workouts.
- By activity I mean something that gets me up and going and preferable out of the house, like a walk in the neighbour hood, work in the yard, run around playing with kids… just about anything that gets me out of that couch, gives me some fresh air, and brings me into a moving state 😉
- With real workout I mean an activity like for example going to the gym, yoga, biking, running, Rollerblade … you get the drift.
Other activities/projects this year
I have a few other things on my agenda 🙂 Like; travel, projects in my yard, other projects, throw a garden party, ++
But these, I think I’ll tell you more about, as we move into the year 😉
So that’s it for my 2015 goals… enough don’t you think?
It seem like I can’t seem to concentrate on one thing these days, If you saw my living room and guest room you would have a laugh. There are stuff all over.
I told you before I started on my kitchen, that it seems like I’m working on a “zillion” projects, and that’s exactly how my house looks 😦
I’ll clue you inn on a couple of them.
After dad passed away last year, there was a few things that ended up in my house. Some things I held for my brother, which he have received during this year. Remember I told you about them earlier in “My Grandfathers cabinet” and “Hand over“?
There was also a couple of boxes, with letters, pictures, films, audio tape, and other stuff dad had held on to, for sentimental value. It’s a mix of stuff from his life and stuff from his mothers life (she passed away quite a few years ago).
I did look through it last year, but I realized that because of some of the formats he had, like old 8 mm films and old Tandberg audio tapes, I would have to find someone that could help me figure out what on earth was on that stuff, and I packed it all away for later.
Well, I decided that later is now. It’s time to figure out what to do with it all. And I’m slowly going through his boxes.
A couple of friends of mine have (or been able to get their hands on) some old equipment, and I have found out what’s on the 8 mm films and dias (negatives in frames). I have to admit, its kinda weird, and fun to come across people you know, and see them 50 years younger 🙂 The films I have already delivered to a company that will make them digital, the dias I’ll probably deliver to the same place next week or so. I’ve found a photo place that are not to expensive, and I’ll probably have them scan some of my stuff, rather than me go out an buy a very expensive photo/negative scanner.
I’ve also found out some of what’s on the audio tapes, but here I’m running into a bit more trouble. There are hours of tape, and the places I know that can digitize this, is hugely expensive, so I’m kinda hoping I can find someone with an old Tandberg player that I can borrow, so that I can digitize it myself… we will see… I’ll leave that for later.
Some of the stuff in the boxes are from my dad’s mum and even some from his dad’s, mostly letters and some pictures. And some are letters to and from my dad. The letters are a little strange to go through, because most of them are from family members that are sadly no longer with us. So reading them is like being hit from all sides. And it’s hard to decide which ones to keep and which ones to let go.
The same with the pictures, there are pictures of people there, that I know nothing about, and there are pictures of people, that are family members. I know I can’t keep it all, so I’ll have to pace myself going through them.
This is one of the things I’m working on right now, my dad’s boxes. And I know, it will be an ongoing project to decide what to keep, and get most of it digitized.
My photo collection:
The other thing I’m working on that are creating havoc in my house, is my own photo collection. Starting on my dad’s stuff, I realised it was time to tackle all of my photos as well. It’s been a plan of mine for a long time, to do something about my photos. I don’t know if you remember, I mentioned my plans for my photo collection in the post “Who the hell am I keeping it for?”
My photo collection consist of, tons and tons of albums, loads of negatives, loose photos (not yet put into albums) and boxes of old inherited photos of people I barely know (or don’t know as it is). Somewhere along the way, I also decided I wanted them digitized.
In the article mentioned above, I realised that I, in reality, am only keeping the photos for me, and that I therefore do not have to keep everything… and the conclusion was to keep key pictures as real photos, scan a few more and then get rid of the rest. And that is the task I’ve just begun.
And here is where the mess comes in. I’ve pulled all my albums and photo boxes out on the floor, And so far that amounts to 9 huge albums and 4 boxes, in my living room and 6 albums and several boxes in my guest room and a bunch of unused albums. Throw that together with my dad’s boxes and you understand my problem, yes? 😉
How am I doing with this task? Well so far I’ve only created the mess, but stay with me over the next few
days (weeks), and I’m sure I’ll have a progress report or ten for you.
So there you have it, the stuff I’m working on right now. I have a funny feeling, this is something that will take quite some time, before I am where I want to be with this, but I have to start somewhere, right?
Lately I’ve gotten into a bad habit of turning the TV on early, and even though I don’t always look at it, it steels my attention and the result is that I’ve been spending way (and I mean waaaay) too much time in front of the tube. Yesterday I realized I need to give myself a detox. A TV detox.
Now, since there are a couple of programs that gives me immensely joy to watch, I’m giving myself a daily limit.
And my daily TV limit is – 1 hour.
I know for some this sounds like a lot, but from where I’ve been going lately, this is a severe restriction.
The same goes for my smartphone/iPad time. I tend to get a little engrossed when surfing the web, and before you know it, it’s been hours. So just for measures, I’m going to throw in some restrictions on this as well.
So here it is – no more than 1 hour combined Smartphone/iPad/PC use daily.
There might be one and only one exception to this rule! Sometimes preparing a post takes me longer than an hour. So should I run into that issue during my enforced detox, I have hereby granted myself permission to finish my post 🙂
Now, how long will this detox last? Hmmmmm, let’s see… Why don’t I start with two weeks and see how that goes.
So what if I fail? Then what?
Then! I get no TV whatsoever for a while….
When do I start? Well actually, I started today 😉
Why do I do it? Because I need to be more mindful on what I spend my time on…
And to steal a detail from my friend over at What I shed Today – Shedding style: reduce 😉
As I told you in my last post, July tally, the last few weeks I have pretty much just relaxed and enjoyed my time off.
But enough is enough, it’s time to get back at it 😉
Back to my declutter task, back to my blog and back to getting some stuff done around the house!
So here is my first instalment, getting back on my declutter wagon!
- 1 jacket
- 1 pair of pants
- 1 thermal underwear top
- 6 T-shirt
- 2 pairs of knitted wool socks
- 1 BIG piece of silk – bought in Malaysia in 1995, intending to have a dress made…. like that ever happened!
- 1 clutch
- 1 bed sheet that don’t fit any of my beds…?
- 1 pair of boots – they seemed like a good idea when I got them, but they’ve never been used…
- 1 book – Thor Heyerdal, the adventurer
- 2 software CDs never used
- 4 empty DVD boxes (count as 1)
- 1 pair of sandals – never used, what was I thinking with those heels!
- 1 plastic serving tray (broken)
- 1 almanac – 2010
- 1 shirt – dads – and
- 1 cardigan – dads – they won’t ever get used and it’s been almost 1,5 years, it’s time to let them go!
24 items, woohoo 😉
Now, if decluttering the rest of the house would just be this easy…
I had a pretty interesting conversation recently, about what we keep. Why we keep it. Who we are keeping it for. And what interests will they have in what we leave behind!
As a woman with no kids and husband, there are not that much family left to give my family heirlooms to. The only ones left of my blood relatives are my mum, brother, half sister and some second cousins…
I have a large step-family (trough dad), but I’m assuming that whenever I’m not around any more, they might only be interested in some of my personal things. I can’t see that they would be much interested in things from my blood relatives, with maybe the exception of some of my dad’s stuff.
Thinking about this conversation have made me realize, that I’m keeping some thing from my past and my family’s past, that most likely nobody after me, will care one iota about! So who am I keeping it for? Well it turns out I’m obviously keeping it for me, and me alone! And that’s a pretty enlightening thought!
This morning I suddenly realized that keeping in mind, that I’m pretty much keeping things for me, and me alone, is going to make an big impact on my decluttering process.
I have a few bigger projects/tasks in mind for this fall. And I think the conclusion above is going to make these projects a whole lot easier to accomplish.
As an example I’ll tell you about – My huge photo collection. Tons and tons of albums, loose films, loose photos (not yet put into albums) and boxes of old inherited photos of people I barely know (or don’t know as it is). My intention have been to put the photos into albums (been working on it, on again, off again, the last few years) and the rule was, that what doesn’t go into albums will be tossed!
Somewhere along the way, I also decided I want to scan them all, so that I can have them as digital photos. Then I could clean up my albums. Since we are talking thousands of photos, this have seemed like such an undertaking, that I haven’t gotten it started yet.
Well this morning it dawned on me that, since I have no kids that will be interested. My half sister and my brother have no kids of their own (yeah we are really hopeless at producing kids). The family line is pretty much dying out with us (which is kinda sad when you think about it). So who am I keeping all these photographs for? Obviously no one! I can’t imagine my step family being interested in photos from my mums line of family, grandparents, their siblings and so on. Most likely they would just toss away the lot of it.
So what am I saying? Well for this instance, I’m saying my task of scanning suddenly got waaay less complicated. Conclusion is to keep a few key pictures as real photos (but only of people I know), scan a few more and then get rid of the rest. I mean seriously, I hardly ever look at those old photos, mum don’t ask for them and she is the only one left, who might know who they are. Dad have passed away, my brother wouldn’t care less, so why should I be so darned compelled to be the photos keeper?
So I just decided, I’m only going to keep the photos that are important to me! And me alone! So there 😉
Phew, I think I just went from several thousand of potential scans down to a third, hopefully less! But we will see how it goes when I start the job this fall 😉
But for now, I’m pretty happy with my conclusion.
I mentally decluttered a lot of things today! Especially since this doesn’t only apply to the photos…
What about you, have you ever thought seriously about what you are leaving behind, why and for whom? It might be pretty enlightening… and you never know, it might just shift a few priorities around!